Thyroid UK

Overactive Thyroid


My name is Sandra and I am 17 years old, I have been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid in September 2013. Since December 2013 I have been taking Carbimozole and Propanolol ( I suffer with severe treamours 3 times a day 10mg) . My original dose of Carbimozole was 20mg, however for the past 3 months my endocrinologist has increased my dose up to 30mg and suggests I look in to the radio iodine treatment or surgery as the treatment has not been bringing any results. I was wondering if any one has any suggestions as to which direction should I go with my treatment as I have read about both types and am extremely weary that the decision will have long term impacts. If you know anything more about the treatment or have experienced the treatment could you please share your experience with me as I am really stuck as what should I do. Thank you!!!

6 Replies

I would just say - don't do anything hasty. Could you maybe try block and replace or even try Carbimazole but for a bit longer. Your dose doesn't seem all that high and you don't seem to have been on it all that long - it might be worth getting a second opinion - email Louise at TUK for the list of sympathetic doctors and see if there is anyone in your area - or even just put out a request telling others the area you live in and ask other members to let to know if they could send you a private message letting you know if they can recommend a good doctor / hospital in that area. Good luck :-)


Welcome to our forum

I am sorry that, being so young, you are now experiencing hypothyroidism and are being recommended to have RAI. Do not be pushed into something you feel uneasy about.

The following is an excerpt from an article in Pulse Online by Dr Toft who was President of the British Thyroid Association:-

5 Patients with hyperthyroidism often ask for advice on drug treatment versus radioiodine therapy. Can you summarise the pros and cons of each?

The three treatments for hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease – antithyroid drugs, iodine-131 and surgery – are effective but none is perfect.

Iodine-131 will almost certainly cause hypothyroidism, usually within the first year of treatment, as will surgery, given the move towards total rather than subtotal thyroidectomy.

There is no consensus among endocrinologists about the correct dose of thyroid hormone replacement so patients may prefer to opt for long-term treatment with carbimazole. Standard practice is that carbimazole is given for 18 months in those destined to have just one episode of hyperthyroidism lasting a few months.

But there’s no reason why carbimazole shouldn’t be used for many years in those who do relapse. Any adverse effects such as urticarial rash or agranulocytosis will have occurred within a few weeks of starting the first course.

Iodine-131 treatment for toxic multinodular goitre is the most appropriate choice as hypothyroidism is uncommon. Surgery would be reserved for those with very large goitres and mediastinal compression.

Once hyperthyroidism has developed in a patient with a multinodular goitre, it will not remit and any antithyroid therapy would have to be lifelong.


I would push to find out the cause before you decide on treatment, as that affects which is the most appropriate course of action. Read up about the different causes, which are most commonly Graves (autoimmune), toxic multinodular goitre and thyroid nodule. You need to ask for antibody tests and possibly an ultrasound scan then post your results on here.


Hi Sandra,

It may be a episode, I was diagnosed last Feb but now think I had my first at maybe 9 and my next at 23 post baby and only at 54 was I taken into hand by medical profession. I was on 40mg of carb and propanalol three times daily.... I have done a lot of research about this (am journalist so very nosey....) and decided to look at alternatives because you don;t get rid of illness by destroying thyroid it is just the target not the source of the problem. I had a very good look at diet and completely ditched all wheat (found if easy) and immediately felt much better, look at LowFodMap diet and Paleo anti-immunity diet, it is a bit strict but about getting your gut to heal as there is some research which seems to point to a 'leaky gut' causing immune reaction ... I also cut down booze, no coffee (and hope you don't smoke!) take gut healing supplements and had acupuncture. I am now on 5mg of carb every other day and about to do first ever 10k run next month. I am due to come off drugs in August and will see what happens but even if it goes haywire again would try same procedure.It might be worth checking out a good naturopath who can look at your health as a whole xx


Hello there,

I had Graves disease diagnosed in my 20's and opted for surgery. I didn't want the RAI as at the time there was a link between that and infertility whereas the surgery was without long term effects. I do now take 125mg of levothyroxine as I became under active after 3 years, but I am convinced that is dietary. I think they have dismissed the RAI and fertility link now.

I was 4 years on tablets for hyperthyroidism before I went for surgery and I have no regrets at all. My quality of life is much improved. I remember I would get a lot of palpitations and tremors when I was hyper and that all went.

My advice is to take your time, at 17 you are still developing and you just don't know how you will grow.

Best of luck!


Hi Sandra,

I was wondering if avoiding all animal food and eating only whole plants (i.e. no sugar, no oils, no white flour and other processed foods) would be the better option. It seems to have an effect on other autoimmune diseases like MS, Crohn's, Arthritis, and some others. For more info:

regards, Peter.


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